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Straw House

Building A Natural House of Straw

At $3,000, not including the solar power this housing program could help in a reservation that has over 60% of the homes are infested with black mold. Where an average 17 people live in each home. And many homeless families live in tents or cars, while other families live in shacks, old trailers, or dilapidated mobile homes.

A natural housing company selected the Pine Ridge Reservation as the place to stage their latest housing workshop. With the help of workshop participants, volunteers and community members, they erect a house in a week, made completely out of natural materials and powered by the sun.

But with virtually every material that comprises the house abundant in the area – straw, mud, gravel and rubble – some see it as a symbol of sustainability and autonomy. It may be made of straw, but against the huffing and puffing of fierce plains winds this house holds up.

In Porcupine, SD. This Natural building is an earth-friendly building option, using materials that are, by and large, not industrially processed. Usually a small amount of processing occurs, for instance, the mechanical baling of the straw, but the mentality is one of conservation.

A goal of the workshop was to build a warm, pleasant, inexpensive house that would last a long time and would have a low impact on the environment. Further, AMERIND Risk Management Corp, (a not-for-profit American Indian Insurance company) will insure such a home.

Building the Home

The solar power made this house stand out amid grid-dependant houses in Shannon County. The house was carefully wired to code with two ceiling lights and two outlets powered entirely by solar energy. The final plaster and the earth floor need to be finished, along with the soil and plant on the roof this spring. Measuring 11 feet by 16 on the inside and costing about $3,000, excluding the solar equipment, the house is cool when it is warm outside, and heats up quickly with the wood stove.

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A.I.M. Mission Statement

The American Indian Movement Riverside is a proactive advocacy and educational organization concerned with promoting the unity and security of Indian communities, families, and drug free youth programs. The organization is dedicated to representing the many interests and concerns of all Native American Indian people, particularly renewal of spirituality to empower Indian people with dignity regarding political, social and legal issues, including cultural traditions and inherent sovereign rights.

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A.I.M. Riverside Chapter

P.O. Box 135

Mountain Center, California 92561


AIM DISCLAIMER: The American Indian Movement its Chapters and Support Groups do not support, nor condone Violence or acts of Malicious behavior. Such behavior by individuals acting on their own, do not represent AIM. AIM is a spiritual movement of committed individuals who walk the red path of tolerance, peace and respecting all life as sacred.

Any questions or comments regarding actions, events, etc., involving or regarding participation of ANY American Indian Movement Group or Individual, please contact us at aim@aimriverside.org

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